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I hope this is a stupid question [with an obvious answer that I am missing] ...

My email services have suddenly stopped working and nothing I do seems to affect the problem.

Existing mail accounts are broken. New mail accounts can't be created because the account "fails to access the [specified email server]. This happens on my local servers and on external servers.

This happens on both of my local machines, one running Leopard Server and the other running Snow Leopard Server.

The Network Utility ping function succeeds with "support.apple.com" but fails on "apple.com"

How could one work, but not the other? Is this even related to my problem?

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closed as too localized by Philip Regan Aug 21 '11 at 21:07

This question is unlikely to help any future visitors; it is only relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet. For help making this question more broadly applicable, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

3 Answers 3

These problems usually come down to one of two things:

1) The log-in settings for your outgoing mail server run by the company that provides your email service are not configured correctly in your email client program. Port numbers, authentication method, user name, password, and other settings--something is not quite right.

2) The problem is on the end of the company that provides your email service. Their servers are misbehaving.

In either case, call the tech support line of the company that provides your email service and have them troubleshoot it with you.

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Unfortunately, I am my own provider/tech ... Also, I'm new here so I can't mark anything else "useful" –  user10168 Aug 21 '11 at 17:34
    
I'm sorry, I didn't read your question carefully enough to realize that you are writing about email servers that you administrate in-house. Therefore I just provided some generic tech support information. My bad. –  Wheat Williams Aug 21 '11 at 18:24

I consider these results from your ping commands completely normal. When I try this, I get an IP for support.apple.com of 184.85.56.143, and an IP for apple.com of 17.149.160.49. It's likely that the apple.com IP address is unreachable from the outside, or not even associated with a machine. Note that if you put apple.com into a web browser, you're redirected to www.apple.com (for which ping reports an IP address of 184.85.61.15). So instead of pinging apple.com, you should ping someknownhost.apple.com (such as support, www, developer). Also note that due to caching services such as akamai, when you ping an apple.com host, you might end up pinging a machine hosted elsewhere.

So, explain more about your email issue!

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Email has worked fine for several years. Last week I added a mini Snow Leopard Server to my local network and somehow I screwed things up in the process. I reinstalled the Leopard Server, configured the services –  user10168 Aug 21 '11 at 17:26
    
I just noticed that this message re my email setup was truncated. I meant to add: –  user10168 Aug 21 '11 at 20:58

The failed pings are completely unrelated to your mail issue. It is true that apple.com is blocking icmp traffic (ping uses icmp) and the endpoint at support.apple.com is not blocking this traffic. This is possible because each of those hostnames point to different servers/endpoints with different filtering rules on each.

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Thanks, just my luck to pick a "known" destination that doesn't allow itself to be "known" –  user10168 Aug 21 '11 at 17:38

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